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Posts Tagged ‘science’

Can Thinking Too Much Make You Fat?

Can Thinking Too Much Make You Fat?Online students beware: a new study conducted by researchers at Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada, indicates that heavy thought might contribute to obesity. The limited study — apparently, there are only 14 obese people in Quebec — suggests that intellectual activity causes increased fluctuations in glucose and insulin levels in your body. Since glucose is the only fuel used by brain cells, the brain may in turn tell the body to replenish the burned glucose by eating more. (more…)

Brilliant Scientists’ Advice: Take Brain-Altering Drugs

Brilliant Scientists' Advice: Take Brain-Altering DrugsThey might need to come out with a new version of that “This is your brain on drugs” ad if a group of scientists get their way. In a paper titled “Towards Responsible Use of Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs by the Healthy” published in Nature, seven scientists from the US and UK advocate the use of brain-enhancing prescription drugs like Adderall and Ritalin as study and work aids in a manner similar to caffeine. Their Peter Tosh-like solution to “legalize it” aims to make these drugs legal, stopping an illicit trade that, according to the article, is sweeping through college campuses around the world. (more…)

This Is Your Brain on Schwarzenegger

It looks like the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recall wasn’t too far off base. Scientists at Arizona State University have developed a technique that uses ultrasound — you know, the thing you use to see babies before the stork comes — to stimulate and manipulate circuits in the brain. In doing so, they’ve provided us with not only a potentially powerful, noninvasive treatment for brain diseases like Alzheimer’s, but also, as lead investigator William “Jamie” Tyler points out, a sci fi lover’s wet dream:

One might be able to envision potential applications ranging from medical interventions to use in video gaming or the creation of artificial memories along the lines of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in Total Recall. Imagine taking a vacation without actually going anywhere?

Perhaps envisioning the sea of nerds lining up outside his lab to implant wedgie-free memories of high school, Tyler hedged his comment:

Obviously, we need to conduct further research and development, but one of the most exhilarating prospects is that low intensity, low frequency ultrasound permit deep-brain stimulation procedures without requiring exogenous proteins or surgically implanted medical devices.

Pray that they perfect this technology before you finish school so that you can implant memories of the periodic table, the Pythagorean theorem and the dates of every battle in the Civil War.

21 Good Web Forums for Students

For students who study online, having a good network of professionals and other students in your chosen field is a great way to exchange ideas, understand concepts, or just vent some steam.

These active online forums are run by professionals and students in health care, business, technology, law, criminal justice, and other academic fields (click a topic to jump to that section). Need help with homework? Have a question and no one’s around to answer it? Join up and post away.

(P.S.: If you know of any good student-savvy forums that should be on this list, feel free to suggest one in the comments below.)

Health care forums (top) – There are a lot of medical assisting forums out there (they’re a chatty bunch), but this one is the target of frequent questions regarding certification, school and job hunting, and it’s run by a real online health care educator. – Administrated by a staff of RNs and other medical personnel, this nursing forum has categories for students and working nurses of all levels, and even includes an NCLEX forum to guide you through that test anxiety. – A large and varied community of doctors, student doctors and professionals in many areas of health care interact within the pages of this site, where you’ll almost certainly find something on the specialty you’re studying. – An x-ray specific community that discusses patients, positioning, continuing education and job seeking.

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography – the SDMS hosts a collection of ultrasound forums based on the different areas of sonography, but SDMS membership is required for entry. The author not being a registered sonographer, this link is mostly FYI.

Business forums (top) – Despite being hosted by a business, this forum gathers traffic from MBA seekers and MBA holders worldwide, with active discussions in the US, the UK, Europe, Australia, Africa and other countries.

BusinessWeek – The name power alone gives this one credibility, and it’s rife with b-school, MBA and GMAT questions of all kinds from students like yourself. – This career and education info site’s MBA forum is a little awkward, with no real organization among the 522 topics lining the left-hand side. But discussions surrounding school admissions, cheating, career changes and other common topics may answer some of your questions, and it’s hosted by the same guy who fields questions in the forum above.

Technology forums (top)

PlanetAMD64 – Hardware buffs are drawn to this discussion board, which also attracts software buffs, system buffs and other reams of the technologically curious. Though a student element is not immediately apparent, it makes for a solid board of experts – including, undoubtedly, its fair share of “Trek-sperts.”

DaniWeb – This community of over 400,000 IT enthusiasts is open to students in software and Web development, and covers many topics within and without, as long as you’re not looking for fast answers for your homework. It seems like a geek-chic kind of place.

Ubuntu Forums – The Community Café is renamed to match certain strange holidays (National Talk Like a Pirate Day: “the Poop Deck”), and there is a hefty number of categories to choose from, including one for … Mac users…. Again, no special place set aside for students (sorry – those seem to be sparse in IT), but students are welcome to run amok in the general threads.

Law forums (top) – It seems like no one is quite as verbose as a law student, so be prepared for anything you post to be mercilessly ridiculed, or at least answered with a fair amount of asinine wisdom. This means you should probably do the same with your posts, if you don’t already. That being said, this forum has a board for pre-law, as well as law and grad students. – This lively group posts threads with titles like “Is McCain Palin’s Bitch?” and “Why the hell do we want to be attorneys?” Nonetheless, they are all law students with test anxiety like yourself, and they will doubtless welcome you among them after a gritting initiation rite. – The site’s hyphenated URL and lead-generation flavoring may raise eyebrows, but the forum is real, active, and for once it almost seems serious. Separate categories for admissions, LSAT prep and minority law students, among others, promise the help you need, with an off-topic lounge where things degenerate quickly (“How can I make working udders?”)

Criminal justice forums (top)

Criminal Justice Online – With a highly organized board grouped into topics like leadership, technology and education, your questions will fit in somewhere. Participation comes from experienced officers and students alike. – Students and cadets can go to veterans for advice in the Rookie’s Resource area, and the general public can use the Ask-A-Cop section to get advice from real officers. A pretty large number of categories and more than 37,000 members keeps this one pretty active.

Academics (general ed forums) (top)

College Confidential – This general college discussion board includes topics filed under pre-college, admissions and grad school, as well as a café for irrelevant college life discussions. There’s even an online degree section, if that’s your bag.

Physics Forums – As the name suggests, this board contains forums in physics, as well as in astronomy, math, engineering and other sciences, frequented by over 113,000 members. Not too shabby.

Math Help Forum – Like the physics forum above, this one is straightforward, with no-nonsense forums on college-level algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics and business math. I don’t understand any of it, but f(x) = 2 x(2) + x(3) log x = you getting the help you seek.

The Literature Network – Poetry, philosophy and religion: everything you need to get into a lengthy, scholarly debate with a drunken college guy in Idaho at 2 am. An author’s quote board will even give you some academic ammunition.

The Writers’ Beat – Post your work for feedback, or get advice on writing quandaries such as killing characters, or not killing your readership. It also makes for some good reading.